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20 questions field notes

November 9, 2pm
Fayette Mall to UK

The bus is full! A few minutes into the ride, a 35ish white guy in grey jeans and sweatshirt with close-cut hair and in need of a shave is watching everyone on the bus. I’ve seen him on this route before. As he looks at me, I look back at him and say “hi” [aside: another example when I seem to go a even more self-reflexive. In most cases, when someone looks at you on the bus, you avert your eyes and avoid unwanted contact.]

“You ride the bus a lot,” he states skipping the hellos. “Yep,” I say, “you, too.” “You work at the Clinic?” he asks. “Nope,” I say, “do you?” although I wouldn’t think he did by his scruffy attire. “You a student?” he continues 20-questions with me. “Yep, I’m kind of old but I am a student,” I say. Satisfied that he’s answered his original question, he tells me, “I’m going to physical therapy.” Then, at the next stop without any more talk and no good-bye or look backward, he gets off the bus. [aside: such encounters don’t make me fear for my safety, but they do leave me feeling a little unbalanced, like I’ve taken on a piece of that unbalanced person through conversation.]

The rest of the ride is quiet, thankfully.


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